Eagle-eyed Tom Kindlon posted on Twitter last night that Dr. Ann Vincent’s name has been removed from the CFS Advisory Committee roster. It appears that Dr. Vincent has resigned, although I have no information on when or why she may have done so.
I’ve emailed Dr. Nancy Lee for more information and will share what I learn. (see update below) For now, I can try to put this change in context for you.
Dr. Vincent was nominated to the CFSAC by the CDC in October 2010 and appointed to the Committee in April 2011. She was midway through her four year term on the CFSAC. The focus of Dr. Vincent’s clinical practice and research is fibromyalgia and fatigue. Many advocates were critical of her appointment to the Committee because some of her publications suggest she ascribes to the psychosocial view of fibromyalgia and CFS. On the other hand, Dr. Casillas told me last year that he was forming a collaboration with Dr. Vincent and Dr. Jordan Dimitrikoff to look at a potential biomarker.
Last year, Dr. Vincent published a CFS prevalence study conducted in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The study was a retrospective medical records review that identified people who might meet criteria for CFS. Patients meeting the Fukuda criteria, and who had no exclusionary conditions, were considered to have CFS based on the information in the records. The study found a CFS prevalence of 71.34 per 100,000 persons, or 0.071%. This is much lower than other studies that have estimated the prevalence as 0.29% to 2.6%. Study design likely contributes to this wide variance, in part due to the strict exclusionary criteria applied. If Vincent’s study is correct, then the number of people with CFS in the United States is closer to 225,000. This is quite a contrast from one of the most quoted prevalence studies which estimated that approximately 1,000,000 people in the US have CFS. Also notable in Vincent’s study is that only 36% of patients had documented post-exertional malaise. However, this could be a result of doctors not knowing how (or whether) to assess for PEM.
You may recall that Dr. Jacqueline Rose resigned from the CFSAC shortly after her appointment in 2012. The CFSAC bylaws requires that a vacancy be filled within 90 days, and Dr. Koh said that the 2011 nominations were being reviewed for a replacement. Ten months have passed and the vacancy remains, although my understanding is that a replacement for Dr. Rose has been selected and will attend the May CFSAC meeting.
Now there will be another vacancy to fill.
I’ve asked Dr. Lee if a new call for nominations will be made, or if previous nominations will be reexamined. I have no additional information about why Dr. Vincent resigned or what timeline we can expect for a replacement, but I will keep you posted as I learn more.
Updated April 22, 2013: Dr. Lee’s office said by email: “Dr Vincent has resigned; the reason for her resignation is private information. We will be following the FACA rules to select her replacement. The new member replacing the member who resigned last year will be introduced at the May meeting. We will post the name on the CFSAC website soon. Thanks for your continued interest in CFSAC.”
Updated April 23, 2013: The new member of the CFSAC, replacing Dr. Jacqueline Rose, is Rebecca Patterson Collier, RN.